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TJ Doheny to face another Japanese foe in first world-title defence at Madison Square Garden

Doheny faces Ryohei Takahashi at Madison Square Garden next Friday, live on Sky Sports in these parts.

Image: Sean Gibbons (@KnuckleheadSean)

PORTLAOISE’S TJ DOHENY will face Japan’s Ryohei Takahashi in his first defence of the IBF World super-bantamweight title at The Theater in Madison Square Garden, New York, on Friday.

The Sydney-based Doheny [20-0, 14KOS] ripped the belt from another Japanese opponent, Ryosuke Iwasa, last August and will attempt to fend off the challenge of number-10-ranked Takahashi [16-3-1, 6KOs] in the Big Apple on what will be the Irishman’s first outing under the promotional banner of Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing USA.

Takahashi has won his last six bouts on the trot – three of them quick — and like Doheny boasts a points win over Thai veteran Pipat Chaiporn on his record.

unnamed (3) Ryohei Takahashi stands in TJ Doheny's way next Friday in New York.

“It is really an honour to fight a world title match in this big event,” said the 28-year-old Takahashi. “I’ll show everyone a great fight and rise up as a champion. I will make it happen.”

“I am delighted to face Ryohei in my first defence,” said Doheny. “I have massive respect for boxing in Japan having won my title there, and I know how motivated he will be in his first world title fight, just as I was in Tokyo.

But I have prepared brilliantly for this fight and this is my time to shine. I know he wants to rip the title from me, but this is my first big night under the spotlight and I intend to shine.

Doheny intends to unify the 118-pound division later this year, with a bout versus WBA champion Danny Roman having already been mooted by promoter Hearn.

On Friday, he joins a card which already features future Katie Taylor opponent Amanda Serrano who is bidding to become a seven-weight world champion, as well as WBO World middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade and former RING Magazine and WBA World lightweight champion Jorge Linares.

Dohney-Takahashi will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in Ireland and the UK as well as DAZN in the USA.

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